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- 1 x rack of lamb
- 2 tspn ras el hanout
- 2 tspn spanish smoked paprika (pimenton)
- 2 Tbls olive oil
- 1 Tbls pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 x onion, chopped
- 1 Tbls butter
- 1/2 cup israeli (pearl) couscous
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 handful mint leaves
- 1 handful flat leaf parsley
- 1 handful cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 x preserved lemon
- 10 x dried apricots
Rinse rack of lamb under cold water and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits between the bones and into the meat. (This will allow some of the spice blend to penetrate into the meat) Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with Ras el hanout and paprika. Allow to stand at room temperature while preparing the couscous.
Rinse cilantro, parsley, and mint leaves. Dry in paper towels, then roughly chop. Remove the pulp and seeds from the preserved lemon and thoroughly rinse under cold running water to remove the salt. (This is the standard technique for most recipes that call for preserved lemon.) Also roughly chop preserved lemon and dried apricot.
Grind pistachio nuts and combine with bread crumbs.
To prepare the Israeli couscous, melt butter in saucepan and sauté chopped onion until soft. Add the couscous and cook with the sautéed onion, then add the stock. If you do not have chicken stock, use water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat. Cover and continue simmering about 8 minutes, until couscous is soft. Not all of the liquid will be absorbed. Empty contents into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cold water, rinsing off the starch that was released during simmering. Return the rinsed and drained couscous back into the saucepan and reheat slightly.
Prepare your lamb: Preheat oven to 375. If your pistachio nuts are unsalted, sprinkle rack of lamb with salt. (If your pistachios are salted, there is no need to add salt to the lamb before searing it.) Using an oven-proof skillet, heat olive oil over moderately high heat. When oil is hot, sear the lamb rack until browned, about 5 minutes per side.
Remove pan from heat. Slather both sides of lamb rack with pomegranate molasses. Then with meaty side of lamb rack up, pack nut crumb mixture on top. Place skillet in oven and roast until internal temp reaches 140 degrees F for rare, about 15-20 minutes. Then allow to stand a few minutes before carving.
Combine couscous, preserved lemon, slivered apricot, pomegranate seeds, and chopped mint, cilantro, and parsley. If desired toss couscous with a splash of olive oil and a small amount of lemon juice.
Carve rack of lamb into 8 chops. Spoon couscous onto plate and arrange chops on top.
* Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend that can contain as many as 100 different ingredients. You can find my own blend on this site:-)) Although you can purchase it already prepared, I would guess that any blend that you prepare yourself is better.